Supporters of Egypt's Defense Minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi hold a poster bearing his picture with Arabic that reads, "the people order," in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zeid)
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When an uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egyptians in the impoverished Cairo neighborhood of Imbaba rejoiced.The revolt raised hopes that a democratic government would emerge after 30 years of dictatorship, fix the potholed, garbage-strewn streets and provide better education and health care. The mood in the sprawling slum of Imbaba – home to more than 1 million people – is especially telling because it was an Islamist militant stronghold opposed to former air force commander Mubarak in the 1990s that now seems happy at the prospect of having a military man in power again.Sisi, who ran military intelligence under Mubarak, gave the strongest signal yet Saturday that he would contest presidential elections due later this year.After three years of political upheaval since Mubarak's fall, Imbaba residents interviewed by Reuters say they will settle for Sisi nevertheless.In the 1990s, Muslim militants seeking to overthrow Mubarak's government gained widespread popularity in Imbaba by providing basic services the government had not, essentially establishing a state within a state.Mubarak's security forces eventually crushed the Islamist insurgency, and life returned to normal in Imbaba – neglect by the government and little hope.
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